Two Strangers

"Holi Hain!!!" I stood there, shivering from head to toe, amid the wild jungle of human beings, who had suddenly come to life. I was scared....not because I hated socializing....but because....because that included colors. Slowly, I crept into the nearest bush I could find in my eyesight, not even stopping to think that someone else might have thought of taking the same refuge. "Hey!!" I yelped and jumped back in surprise, as the shadow of a boy arose from behind the bush. "Look..." he continued. "I know what you're here for, but I Don't like it. I Don't like splashing about in tubs of water and smearing each other with colours. I don-" He broke off. My insides had suddenly started to dance the conga on knowing that I was not alone, that someone else also had the same fear as I did. "Nor do I," I said quietly. His face lit up suddenly. It seemed as thousands of lamps had been lit up together by a single candle. He nodded excitedly, held my hand and pulled me into the bush, "Come on then, inside the bush. It's much safer here." My eyes stood searchingly into his green ones, as he plucked off a red Petunia, from the shrub and placed it on my auburn hair. Automatically, my hands raised up to the flower, and its magnificent white strips came into view. Nature's so simple, yet so extraordinary, isn't it?? It always has the habit of sending ornaments for the plants and flowers to adorn themselves. "I wish I was a flower," I said ruefully, making him look up. "Then I would not have to run about like this, hiding from though I did a really serious crime." "You didn't," he said, and for the first time since we met, our eyes met. Blue on green. We had just met minutes ago, but it felt like we had known each other for months, years even. I was lost in an unknown trance when I suddenly felt something being rubbed against my cheek. My eyes looked at him in both horror and delight, as his warm hands smeared my cheek with yellow gulal. I was so overwhelmed with the bundle of mixed emotions swelling inside me, that I threw myself upon him, hugging him tightly as if we had been best friends for years, and decades... "Happy Holi," he whispered as my cheek brushed his lips. "Happy Holi."

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